Strategic Hiring


Image Courtesy Gainsville Gazette

Finding the right hire is a strategy. Successful recruitment and onboarding needs more than just drive and desire—it needs a plan of action!

Job search and hiring has become a strategic undertaking. Candidate behavior has changed and recruiting has yielded to accommodate those changes.


Successful candidates are using peers and social networks to identify and assess jobs before even applying. While paid job
boards still account for 19 percent of new hire activity, social networks are quickly becoming the primary place for job postings.

It certainly makes sense, since technological and behavior modification has created the expectations of immediate feedback and peer support.

  • Passive versus Active Candidates

A passive candidate is one the recruiter has identified and established, as opposed to one responding to an active job opening. In the old days, recruiters scanned business directories and cold-called candidates to persuade them to consider a change. Canvassing for recruits is hard work and is likely the reason search firms charge so much to make a placement. While cold-calling continues, especially at C-level positions, it is no longer mandatory, or even necessary.

With the number of qualified candidates actively pursuing change and job loyalty virtually a thing of the past, everyone is fair game. Today’s availability of information—spawning the current social network phenomenon—has created a co-dependent job market.

  • Where do good candidates come from?

With more than 60 percent of new hires coming from internal sources such as referrals, career sites and hires from within an organization. Traditional sources such as paid job boards and classified advertising, while still strong, are fading or undergoing reinvention. Prospective hires are using social networks, web alerts, soliciting friends and contacting companies directly through their career sites as the method of first choice.

What this means is employers are beginning to redirect hiring budgets to outlets like Facebook fan pages, LinkedIn profiles, Twitter posts and job listings on their own career sites. Organizations are increasingly investing in the work environment and public relations, to gain valuable recognition—such as awards for “Best Place to Work” and favorable blog reviews.

  • Hiring Strategies

Effective recruiting environment also includes creating an attractive work environment. A positive workplace allows employees to refer friends and peers, simply because they like where and with whom they work. This emphasis on corporate culture will produce results, without resorting to paid employee referrals. Also, a well-developed career site could persuade prospects to seriously consider your organization.

In addition, an effective measurement of the source of new prospects focuses efforts on hiring resources, resulting in a larger pool of candidates. Finally, a clear focus on hiring through emerging tools like cloud-based applicant tracking systems can effectively leverage both social networks and referral systems. These new tools further stabilize your recruitment efforts.

With over $124 billion spent on talent acquisition in the U.S., equaling about $3,500 for each new hire, primarily through agencies and paid job boards, it makes sense to step back and explore better ways to attract and retain the lifeblood of your company.

Published by @philammann

Put. That coffee. Down. Writer/editor/whatever it takes. @margaretj13 is my (much) better half. Website: Email: Twitter: @PhilAmmann

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